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How to raise a kid polyglot? Version 2012

  Tags: Children | Polyglot
 Language Learning Forum : Polyglots Post Reply
13 messages over 2 pages: 1
Senior Member
Korea, South
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 Message 9 of 13
06 June 2012 at 6:42pm | IP Logged 
---Addendum: Detachment from the Goals and Attachment to the Process---

Some of you who understands what I am saying above might find it tedious to hear it again, but let me keep plug away at it more for those who need to be further expounded upon.
Sometimes when the iron is hot, you need to hammer it on and on in a blitzkrieg style before it cools off.

It took me many years to understand some of these through some very agonizing experiences, through a number of enlightening experiences, and through a long period of being immersed in different languages and cultures, and I know that it will not be so easily transmitted by just a few short writings.

Our society is operating through setting goals at all levels of society.
We as individuals have become so accustomed to having goals and actively pursuing them.
But sometimes we need to lay aside our goals to understand and actualize some other meaningful things.

Detachment within the spiritual traditions of Eastern and Western civilizations

Shakyamuni taught that all human suffering comes from attachment to unreality, or human desires. He set the great wheel of Buddhism in motion for the liberation of life forms through detachment from those desires and enlightenment.

Abraham begat a son in his old age, Isaac, the son of promise.
He must have loved Isaac so dearly, probably even more than his own very life.
One day, he was commanded by God to sacrifice Isaac on the altar on the Mount Moriah.
He took his son and traveled three days to reach the mountain.
It must have been the most excruciating three days of his entire life, something much more painful than his own death....
When he was about to make the sacrifice, an angel intervened and let him sacrifice a ram nearby instead.
Through this, he received a great blessing from God and his life was profoundly changed.

He went through an experience of death in his heart, through which he gave up what was so precious to him. It was a decision and act of detachment and renunciation. Through death, however, a new life was imbued to him.

The life story of Jesus also centers around negation to death, detachment from life, and following resurrection to a new life.

These are the themes from the great traditions of our civilizations and they do bear relevance to learning foreign languages, all the more so for translingual learning.

Sometimes we need to give up our attachment to our goals, even our passionate objectives for language learning.
We need to detach ourselves from the results of our effort at mastering a new language, especially in and through our immersive learning and lifestyle.

The reason is that we may want the results too quick, and become discouraged when we do not experience faster progress and becoming fluent in the language seems like an insurmountable Himalayan mountain. Our over attachment to our goals and speed of progress becomes a source of stress and takes away much of the pleasure out of our learning activities and paradoxically inhibits us from experiencing optimal stimuli for learning.
We learn best when we are free from negative stress and enjoy what we are doing.

We must rein our goal oriented mental habit and control it.

Way of Empty Hand: Grabbing the Wind

Let me share one very otherwordly experience that I had, which made a profound impact on my life, especially in relation to detaching the action from the result of the goal.

I was in Shanghai, China, riding on a taxi, driving through the highway, deeply absorbed in thoughts, thinking about a big project that seemed almost impossible to accomplish. The window of the car on my side was open. I supported my elbow on the rim of the door and put my right hand out. The wind was blowing strongly against the racing car. A sudden impulse came to me to grab the wind with my hand. "Hmm. Grabbing the wind with my hand? Let me try it."
I tried to grab the wind by enclosing my palm and thus making a fist, but the wind would not remain there and all slipped away.
I kept opening and closing my palm over and over again.
"Wow, what a slippery thing the wind is!
I cannot grab it.
It's impossible.
It's quite a stupid thing to even try.
Hmm, it's like what I am trying to do now, do something so huge and seemingly beyond possibility....."

Then suddenly I almost heard a voice speaking authoritatively and intuitively, "Open your palm and keep it opened and you will grab the wind."
Immediately my body was electrified and my mind was energized with a power which awoke my already awakened self.
I opened my palm right away and kept it open.
Suddenly the wind that was so slippery attached and clung itself to every pore of my palm and would not leave as if it found its natural and most loving home.
The wind was strong and tenaciously stuck to my palm, not even separating from it for a second.
When I tried to grab the wind, the wind fled away.
But when I gave up trying to grab the wind and opened my palm, the wind itself came to it and powerfully attached itself to my hand.
I was grabbing the very wind!
Something which I just thought was a totally impossible thing was happening right before my very own eyes!
What a strange and marvelous thing it was!

This event did something to me.
Something was changed in me.
I became more easygoing and accepting of things.
I become more detached from my zeal for achieving my goals, but began to just do one thing at a time, paying more attention to the process and not becoming so concerned about the results.
It does not mean that I changed my goals, but I began to have a different attitude and approach towards it.


Life as Journey: Process as Goal

You think a lot of new things when you are traveling, see many things in different perspectives, when you are surrounded by totally new peoples, sounds, smells, and atmosphere far away and so different from your home.
Travels taught me a lot of things about life and our planet.
About goals....
Life is a journey itself....
Some people might set a goal of seeing a number of countries and try to achieve that goal as soon as possible and hurry through traveling.
Their goal then would become the completion of the act of seeing those countries and they would be happy after the travel, when they have finally realized their objectives.
This is how much of our activities are handled in our goal oriented society.

But is not the goal of travel, the experience of seeing those countries itself?
The goal is not at the end, but right in the middle of the process, in the experience of traveling itself.
Each and every moment when I am in the new country, experiencing the place and people, even haltingly try to get around the place in the local language, irregardless of my level in the language, are the very moments when my goal is being realized!

Every moment of the journey and immersion experience itself are the very fulfillment of the purpose and goal of the journey.

The goal and purpose of life does not lie at the end, which is death, the greatest and ultimate destination of all human life forms on the planet, but within every moment of their life experiences.
Life is a journey.
Existing is the goal of life, and fulfilling of the purpose of life.
It is within the 'Now' that my life has meaning and fulfillment.

The wind coming and snuggling itself like a puppy into every inch of my palm...
The realization of the purpose and goal of my life blowing and coming into every moment of my life's journey through this planet...

Connecting the dots....

Message of the Movie 'Click'

I saw two movies which had quite touched me and I had recommended them to my father to see just couple months before he suddenly passed away.
One was Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson.
Another was Click, starring Adam Sandler.

'Click' was a comedy, but had a profound message.
The architect Michael Newman has a typical middle-class family with his lovely and gorgeous wife Donna and their son Ben and daughter Samantha, and a constant visit of his parents. However, Michael is workaholic and under stress, trying to satisfy his boss with overwork and get a partnership in his company, giving priority to his work and neglecting the family issues. When the tired Michael goes to a department store to buy an universal remote control, he rests on a bed and he meets the weird salesman Morty that offers him a remote control capable of controlling his own universe. Michael uses too much and loses the control of the device, having his own life controlled by the remote control. Then Michael sees the worthwhile parts of his personal life he missed while working, and in the end of his life he lately concludes that the family comes first.

The essence of his story is that he was so obsessed with his goal to succeed in his profession, but did not like the boring and stressful processes of work and his private life, that he fast forwarded his life using this magical remote control a number of times, skipping several years of what he thinks are unbearable and not fun part of becoming successful, right into those times when he got promoted or became successful, achieving his dreams and goals. Now this remote control could only fast forward, but could not fast backward. His happiness was always somewhere in the vague future and never in the journey of his life. When he got to the future, he was not satisfied with it also, thus he would fast forward his life again and again. Several decades of his life was suddenly gone and he became old and sick and about to die. He reviews his life and realizes that he had missed out on so many precious experiences in his impatient zeal to achieve his goals as soon as possible. He tells his son to not repeat his mistakes and to take things easy and live his life fully with his family.

I hope you will watch it, if you have not already done so.
You will have a better idea of what I am trying to say, as it has a relevant message for all language learners.


Mind in Peace and Calmness

With language learning, we need to ever control our obsession with our language goals. Take things easy. Surround yourself with immersive elements. Do not be obsessed with the overly zealous intention to achieve your goal of fluency in the language as to see those elements just as tools but not as your very goals.
Regard your experiences with them as the actual realizations of your goal, that of experiencing and growing in the language and culture. Be detached from your goal of 'fluency'. Lose yourself in what you are doing in such a way you forget all other things, including your progress in the language. Let your consciousness merge and flow together with your actions in the moments.

Now for some of you, this might be something that is difficult to do. It depends on how strongly you are conditioned in regards to doing things to achieve certain results.

If you are under too much stress and you are agonizing over your progress, then you need to re-read what I have written above a number of times over a period of time, till some of the points begin to make sense to you and you begin to experientially see the inner sense of those statements.

Because there is something more than just words there, but vitality and mentality within it that need to be transmitted from soul to soul through these crude vehicles of human language.


If you are learning your very first or second foreign language, it will be more difficult for you to incorporate these somehow mysterious sounding words.
But as you have more experiences of actually having learned a couple languages finally, you will have more confidence and experiential reference point to become more relaxed when you are learning a new language, even as you have more assurance that you will actually learn it too sooner or later just like you have learned other languages.
With this confidence and ability to better pace your learning process patiently, you will be able to better incorporate this sense of detachment from your impatient zeal for goals and enjoy the process of learning itself more.

Now this is a very important concept which are applicable to all language learners, but more so to the translingual language learners.

Translingual learners face more challenges and difficulties than those who are pursuing unitranslingual polyglotism, even as it requires greater mental strength and proper orientation.

Mind is the greatest power on Earth.
It is more powerful than all the atomic bombs, which are just products of its creation, and has unlimited creativity and potentiality.
If you can tap into the limitless energy from within and orient it in line with the proper laws of the universe, you will be able to achieve great things.

Have great goals, but do not be too greedy as to make you loose the balance and peace of your mind, experiencing too much stress.

You must be controlled by peace, calmness of mind.
You must be stress free.
You must enjoy your learning activities.

A mind that reads a paragraph in a foreign language and understands 70% of it and says to itself, "Oh, no! I cannot understand this whole paragraph! It is so difficult. I will never be able to master it!" and bangs its head against the wall in frustration. Just looking at those texts gives him a headache and a strong aversion to face them again.

Another mind reads the same paragraph and understands only 30% of it and says to itself, "Wow! I can understand 30% of this! I must be genius! What a great experience this is! It's so fun! I must read more and find out more about these exciting new words and expressions!"

The exception to all this is when you have to pass a language exam or doing assignments in lieu with your school or career. You will have to follow the system and forget about above ideas.

'Study' detaches itself from the process when it seeks just the end results too quickly.
'Acquisition' attaches itself to the immersion process and loses itself within it.
'Study' focuses on the preparation for future realization of its goals.
'Acquisition' focuses on living and enjoying of its goals within the process itself.


This principle of immersion in the process will play its role in other issues, such as the fluency level and maintenance of languages learned, methodologies of using nannies and tutors.

Edited by futurianus on 08 June 2012 at 6:15am

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Senior Member
Korea, South
Joined 3481 days ago

125 posts - 234 votes 
Speaks: Korean*

 Message 10 of 13
07 June 2012 at 5:57am | IP Logged 
Mabou's mother tells the native tutors to play with Mabou for the half of their time together.

Play = optimum immersion activity
Fun = essence and lifeblood of play

The Way of the Nature: Learning through Play

We must respect and work with the Nature.
The Nature has already marvelously prepared all the infrastructure for the generation, sustenance and growth of all life forms on our planet, in perfect harmony with the immeasurably vast transgalactic ecosystem.
The Nature has decreed that young mammals learn all the skills they need for survival and growth through play, that the kids learn through play.
It has already finely worked out an incredibly complex and efficient system for this mechanism of education for mammals within our planet, even within our own brain-heart-nerve system.(I am including 'heart' here, because there seems to be enough evidence that certain systems of nerves are also formed within the heart, as if it was a secondary brain, which has to do with our predispositions and personality traits and certain types of memories.)

When kids play, certain mechanisms are stimulated into operation, the nature of which behooves us to investigate and find out.

Growth of new nerve centers
Biophysiological nature of our mental activity

Now, new nerve cells are generated and grown within brain and perhaps also heart when given enough amount of proper stimulation in a new language, as to form a new nerve center that independently controls the input and output of secondary and tertiary languages, and that these centers are independent of the primary nerve center which controls our native language.


Edited by futurianus on 08 June 2012 at 6:20am

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Senior Member
Korea, South
Joined 3481 days ago

125 posts - 234 votes 
Speaks: Korean*

 Message 11 of 13
16 August 2012 at 9:10pm | IP Logged 
Digression: Musings and questions over the nature and function of the nerve system
within the heart.

I wish that there would be some brain scientists and neuroscientists more actively
participating in our discussions on languages, bringing in their expertise and
professional views on the organic relationship between the physiological organs and our
complex linguistic activities.

We may have to wait for quite a while for the maturation of online language communities
and the convergence of different fields, of experience and science in the field of
language learning and usage.

For a while, it might be best to avoid too chattish or 'spittish' exchange of ideas
related to these serious fields. I do not have time and energy to get entangled in
doing so anyway. I also do not want to dishonour or be ashamed before our experts and
authorities in relevant fields by mutual sharing of our ignorances in too light-hearted
manner in this forum.    


...It has already finely worked out an incredibly complex and efficient system
for this mechanism of education for mammals within our planet, even within our own
brain-heart-nerve system.(I am including 'heart' here, because there seems to be enough
evidence that certain systems of nerves are also formed within the heart, as if it was
a secondary brain, which has to do with our predispositions and personality traits and
certain types of memories.)...

What are the properties and functions of memory nerve cells and their systems grown
within the heart?
How are they different from those within the brain?
Is it acting as a secondary brain system?
Or could it possibly be the controlling center even for the brain system?
Is the essential human nature more linked and crowned within the heart?
Or is it seated within the brain or the belly?

What are the relevance and function of cardio nerve system, those of memory, emotion,
preferences and personality traits in relation to our language functioning?

Could it be that its significance lies in its link to the function of the heart for the
circulation of blood?
And the blood circulatory system, in synchronization with hormone system, controls our
physiological, emotive, mental and habitual reactions to various stimuli?

Are we essentially beings that live, learn, respond and relate according to our
instinctual and emotive impulses, using our cognitive and logical abilities in
supplementary role? Does our heart spark a chain of actions that utilize and regulate
the functions of our brain? Does the nerve system within our heart immediately operate
our love, hate, fear and joy which act as higher centers that command, activate and
manage the subsystems of our brain?

Do kids primarily play with their heart or with their brain?
What is the role of heart in learning certain fields of knowledge and skill, in
acquiring of language abilities.

How much percentage of language acquisition is that of brain and heart?
90% brain and 10% heart?
10% brain and 90% heart?

How much of our educational system and theories of learning are based on the brain
model and how much on the heart or heart-brain model?

Should not our scientists pay more attention to the role of the heart and its more
complex functions, and have a more wholistic approach to the study of higher grade and
more essential parts of human corpus, that of 'heart-brain-nerve system'?

Further digression:

Would not humanization of our digital technologies imbue them with the functions of our
Should not the next next-generation of artificial intelligence be more based on our
researches into human heart rather than human brain?
Would not our quasi-humanoid truly start to autonomously 'will' and self-directedly
learn and 'grow' only when we imbue it with the 'heart'?

(Again, "For a while, it might be best to avoid too chattish or 'spittish' exchange of
ideas related to these serious fields...")


I will stop my musings and questions here, waiting for more relevant scientific
researches and findings in coming years.

In the meanwhile, I will try to focus more on the experience based thoughts about
acquiring languages, even while discussing on the topic of the physiological nature of
language learning, and be ever mindful about being limited and biased by my own
subjectivity, individuality and lack of expertise. I will try to not go too much
beyond my understanding of the limited accomplishments of our brain and nerve
scientists up to present time. For me, some of their findings, however limited, had a
significant inpact on my language acquiring approach and some of their 'information'
became my important guideposts.

Edited by futurianus on 17 August 2012 at 8:58am

1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Korea, South
Joined 3481 days ago

125 posts - 234 votes 
Speaks: Korean*

 Message 12 of 13
17 August 2012 at 7:26am | IP Logged 
Addendum to 'Digression: Musings and questions over the nature and function of the
nerve system within the heart.'

Let me quickly add that there are many documented cases of those who had received
transplantation of a new heart and had suddenly gone through some remarkable
personality and dispositional changes and gained new hobbies and preferences, all of
which were exactly those of the original heart donors down to extremely fine details,
such as suddenly becoming nervous, cranky or violent in temperament, doing skydiving,
starting to drink coffee or smoking, becoming a fan of a particular musician,
developing a dislike for cats, loving learning foreign languages, etc., all of which
they never were or did before, but which were later found out to have been precisely
the heart donors' inclinations and favorite activities.

It is this interesting phenomenon which opens up a new door of research and
investigation into the mechanism of our physiology and 'mental functioning', the
relationship between 'body' and 'mind', the outcome of which could have tremendous
implications for many fields, including those of education and foreign language

[100th post]

Edited by futurianus on 17 August 2012 at 7:41am

1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Korea, South
Joined 3481 days ago

125 posts - 234 votes 
Speaks: Korean*

 Message 13 of 13
20 August 2012 at 5:40pm | IP Logged 
Digression 2: Kids as Primary Sources

from Polyglots - sinners or saints?
futurianus wrote:
...We witness the miracle of language acquisition by millions upon millions of our littlings everyday and everyplace. Witnessing the miracle of multilingual acquisition is rarer, and of globalistic multilingual acquisition rarest. We can get much information as to techniques and handling of issues related to language learning from experienced adult language learners. We can, however, only delve into the much deeper foundational principles and functioning of language learning mechanism by investigating into how our little humanoids acquire an ability to communicate using sonic signals. At the risk of oversimplification, we can say that the children are providing us with the primary sources and the adults the secondary sources. The primacy of primary sources cannot be overstated.....

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